The Black Artists and Designers Guild (BADG) and Pottery Barn have partnered to release a collection of pieces for home entertaining launching January 28. Designers and BADG members Penny Francis, Casi St. Julian, and Lisa Turner are the creatives behind this collection, which celebrates "Black Joy." The pieces in the collection draw on a variety of key themes, including "unity in the quest of inclusion and equity", "triumph over tribulations," "celebration of love and family," and "harmony as a connected community" and are all designed to highlight and honor Black culture.
As Turner explains, "The inspiration behind the product and story was to share with the world, what Black Joy, Black Family, and Black Celebration looks like. This is how we do it—food, laughter, a good time, and a place to let your hair down and be you, regardless of what you may be going through."
Getting to Know BADG
Launched in 2018, BADG works to uplift independent Black makers working across the art and design industries. "I founded [BADG] based on lifelong battles of inequities," Malene Barnett shares. "To think BADG has created so many opportunities for members to thrive is incredible and yet long overdue. These collaborative opportunities continue to echo BADG's mission to build a more equitable and inclusive creative culture, impacting the makers, their practices, and future Black makers."
BADG and Pottery Barn previously partnered as part of BADG's Obsidian Virtual Concept House in January 2021. "Obsidian is centered on creating space to embrace Black Joy," Barnett notes. "So when Pottery Barn asked us to collaborate on a collection, it was only natural to build on the concept of Black Joy. Black Joy is a reminder for Black people that we have the right to choose and find joy, no matter the circumstances ... It has been a wonderful experience for BADG to work alongside Pottery Barn to see this collection come to fruition and have the message of Black Joy expressed in such a dynamic way.”
What the Collection Will Feature
Shoppers will want to gear up to shop a wide variety of entertaining products—this collection includes a mix of pieces for all throughout the home. Vibrant bed linens, vases, bar ware, and even board games are among the many items available. Whether you're in the market for joyful pieces to jazz up your everyday spaces or are hoping to take your next family game night to the next level, you're sure to find offerings that speak to you.
"Color was incredibly important part of the collection, because we wanted the collection to be a vibrant representation of not just our history but our personalities and how we entertain," St. Julian says. She appreciates the Celebration Dinner Set the most. "I love that these pieces can be interchangeable with someone’s existing tableware throughout all seasons." Francis agrees. "I love how transitional the pieces are; they can stand alone, together or combined with other dinnerware for a curated eclectic look."
And the designs and hues chosen for the collection have significant cultural meaning, Francis shares. "As we designed the collection we reminded ourselves of the words that resonated with our Joy and our collective histories that have shaped us as a culture," she notes. "We reflected back on how resilient we are as a culture and images and symbols that reflected that from the African Diaspora. The Shield designs were inspired by the carvings of the Igbo in Nigeria and Cameroon regions, used in cultural celebrations."
On Why Hosting is So Special
In honor of the collection's launch, we asked the three designers to share why exactly they enjoy hosting friends and family at home. "The thing I love most about entertaining is the prepping of it all," St. Julian says. "It gives me a chance to be creative and showcase an ambiance that brings joy to my guests." For Turner, there's always an excuse to gather. “Hosting, entertaining, and gathering are big in my household, if we have nothing to celebrate we find something to celebrate," she shares. "It’s just time to be close, enjoy good food and conversation.”